Let us analyze a single desire and observe what exactly happens within us. “If only I have a son” is the beginn¬ing of an entire unending chain of life-long, self-tortures. The man wishing for a son feels that all the available circumstances in his life do not serve his conception of the ‘full’ or ‘complete’ joy, and do not, therefore, give him that ‘texture’ of joy or peace which is his demand of life. His solution slowly gets crystallized in his vague ‘desire’ that “My son would complete my joy more fully.” His desire thus is an unconscious effort on his part to have a fuller expression of himself.
The desire for a son at its very birth is but a localized disturbance in the mental lake. But, a million ringlets of concentric disturbances follow and the widening ripples of thought come to crash upon the vast banks! The ‘desire’ motivates an endless array of ‘thoughts’; thoughts thus motivated by each ‘desire’ get projected out into the waking-state-world and among its sense objects, they manifest as ‘actions’. Successful ‘actions’ end in their desired fruit—which is but the objectification of the subjective desire.
The desire for a son produces the agitating problem whether to marry or not, and if the decision is in the positive, the questions whom and where crop up. As though by magic, at each leisure moment a million castles-in-the-air spring up to paint in the void the would-be-life together as man and wife in circumstances having such and such description, beauty —comforts—conveniences etc. etc. The thoughts feed the ‘desire’. The ‘desire’ vitalizes each flimsy dream. In a short time the consequent chaos creates a hell, a roaring inferno within.
And all these arise but from one desire! And, the unintelligent average worldly man raises his brows to exclaim: Swamiji, after all, is it not a common, respect¬able, natural desire to have a son. The Swamiji can only smile. If the exclaimer be a man of true intellectual qualities the sage gives a pregnant discourse on life. But who has the patience to listen for long and that too, to the strange words of a mere ill-clad, half-fed way-side Mahatma?
The individual, tortured by his own ‘thoughts’, cannot contain long within. His own ‘thoughts’, as they gain vitality from his ‘desire’, soon make him their slave. When these ‘thoughts’ find their expression, there happens the seeking, the meeting, the talk, the transac¬tion, the procession and the wedding! Mentally strained and physically exhausted, the fellow and his tame frigh¬tened bride hurry through the usual lusty processes to breed I The desire for a son, which caused the inner whirl-wind, dragging him through a distance of sweat and blood, at last condemns him to the thorny fields of fatherhood. “Ah! My son! He has arrived! My sweet son! My great son! Hurrah!”
All joy, but alas, only for a fleeting moment! The joy is immediately followed by his constant run for the milk-powder and feeding-bottle, the doctor, the tailor, the nurse and the chemist! Soon the unhappy individual is shuttled between the toy-shops and home, the school and theatre, the book-shops, the job givers etc. Every day that very thing-of-joy, the “My son”, provides for the father a hundred hopes, tremblings, plans, failures, dis¬appointments and sorrows.
“But at least in that sacred moment, when he cried out ‘My son’ don’t you think, dear Swamiji, he had a taste of real joy?” If you are tempted to ask thus, you are perfectly right. Hence it is that we, in the very beginn¬ing, admitted that the sense objects have a “false ‘glitter’ of joy”.
“If there be any joy-content at all in the sense-objects, why not we arrest the moment of our experiencing it and prolong it to any desired length of time”, ask some aspirants. Let us patiently continue our enquiry, and probably, we may come to discover the very secret of permanent joy.
So far we have observed how the desire for a son caused a storm of thoughts, how they manifested in the world outside as ‘actions’ and how the ‘desire for a son’ had objectified, as it were, for the happy father. The father at the birth of his child feels extremely happy. Why? Let us find out what happens exactly within him the moment he knows that his desire for a son has been fulfilled, say, at that moment of the last rending cry of the mother or the first cry of the kid or at that awful moment when, afoot-long tender thing, placed between folds of cloth, is laid in the father’s lap. The inner ripples or agitations suddenly settle down. The thought-distur¬bances, caused on the score of the desire for a son sink down and for a split moment the mental stuff in its liquid limpid, clearness reflects the glory within: “Ah! The joy!” But the next moment it is gone! Why? A thousand other desires regarding the son and its comforts, the mother and her health, the nurse and her conveniences, all come up to disturb the glowy-reflecting medium: the stilled mind.
So then, mind is at once the breeding ground of desire, the dung-heap of contending thoughts and also the glorious castle of perfect joy! When mind is stilled, when it ceases erupting its scorching lava of ‘thoughts’, peace is the subjective experience of the possessor of the thoughtless mind. Peace is joy. This is why, in peaceful dreamless sleep, every living creature feels nothing but joy.
From what we have so far observed it can be inferred that the joy-in-son was not in the son, but in the particu¬lar occurrence within, which the birth of the son occa¬sioned. So then, the source of joy is not in the external world of objects, but is deep within us, and whenever the, mind is at perfect rest, an effulgent flood of the inner bliss pours out its satisfying joy.
The desire for objects creates disturbances, which shatter our real nature of shanti. The struggle’ and the urgency of the individual to get his desire fulfilled repre¬sent the urge of truth to assert itself. The spirit within is asserting to come back to its normal state of fullness. The tension in the bow string is from the consistent pull on the stem-of-the-bow to regain its straight nature. Samsar and its pains are from Truth’s benign pull upon untruth!
When we have thus discovered that ‘desire’ breeds ‘thoughts’ and ‘thoughts’ propel us to ‘actions’, and when the ‘actions’ end in successful fruition, the result is the calming of the thought-storm, which in its turn produces the feeling of joy and peace in the subject, the conclusion becomes self-evident; the solution for all the problems of life now becomes an open secret. Re¬nounce desire: thoughts will end. When the desire-agitations (sankalpa- vikalpa uproar) are hushed up, eter¬nal peace is the experience (anubhava). This experien¬cing of the all-full satisfaction and contentment, which is independent of the external world and the day-to-day circumstances created around the subject by the world of objects and the living conditions — is the perfect, achievable and to-be-achieved goal of life. This is life. This is Ishwar Darshan! Kaivalya! The yogi’s Nirvikalpa Samadhi: The Jnani’s Mukti!